Solving the File-Transfer Problem

Sending and receiving attachments in e-mail can be a nightmare, especially when dealing with hefty files. Pepperdine University’s chief information officer found a solution to this problem in Accellion — a company that touts itself as a more effective alternative to in-house File Transfer Protocol (FTP) servers run in IT departments.

The clincher, says Timothy M. Chester, the university’s chief information officer, was the price tag. “They essentially changed their licensing model,” he says. “It didn’t require us to buy an additional license for each student.”

Chester says Accellion was the only company at which the school took a serious look, conducting a trial run.

But with the original licensing model, the school would have had to buy over 10,000 additional licenses, on top of the 1,500 for faculty and staff.

“It was cost prohibitive,” he says.

Chester also says that Pepperdine’s deal with Accellion led the company to offer free inclusion of students in licensing agreements with universities across the globe.

While this apparently was a good solution for Pepperdine (and Harvard, according to Accelion’s Web site), it can’t be the only answer.

Are there better ways to handle the “huge attachment in e-mail” problem? —Hurley Goodall

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